These antioxidants—vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene and calcium— are locked deep and safe inside certain foods. And when we eat these foods, we release the antioxidants.
Eating Antioxidant-Deprived Foods
So, if you bite into a big juicy hamburger, for example, you are going to do two things. You are going to create a whole bunch of free radicals simply through the process of chewing and digestion. And you are going to create even more free radicals because when the stuff you swallowed turns into molecules, those molecules get attacked by free radicals. Any that lose an electron turn into free radicals themselves. Not so good.
Eating Antioxidant-Rich Foods
Now look what happens when you bite into a big juicy slice of cantaloupe. You are also going to do two things. You are going to create free radicals simply through the process of chewing and digestion. But you are also going to release antioxidants that destroy any free radicals that may have been created as you chewed, and are going to go on and defuse and destroy all kinds of other free radicals already there—even some of the ones from that burger. Yes!